Benefit for Tanzanian Schoolkids

Benefit for Tanzanian Schoolkids at the Land Trust, Friday, Nov. 4

by Louisa Merchant

My name is Louisa Merchant, and I am the director of Refugee Ministries for All Saints’ Episcopal Church. Father Emmanuel Bwatta is a visiting priest who is here for a year serving at All Saints’ and getting an MA from Columbia Theological Seminary. Father Emmanuel lives in Tanzania where only 40% of the children of his country attend school, due to the $100 school fee that includes a uniform fee, which most families cannot pay. Apparently this is common in many African countries.


Because we work with refugee children who face so many obstacles here in spite of their access to free education, this concept of being denied free education really is astonishing. We decided the least we could do is send 50 kids to school, which means a fundraising goal of $5000. It is a rare opportunity to personally know someone who is trustworthy and can give these funds directly to the recipients without any organizational costs. The funds will be held in an account at All Saints’ until Father Emmanuel returns home in the spring and can disseminate them. Father Emmanuel will attend the event and speak at a designated time about his country and the educational obstacles for children. I will provide tax letters for donations of $25 or more through All Saints’, not including the $10 entry fee for the event.


This is a family-friendly event, and children of all ages are welcome. It will begin at 5:30 pm and go to 9:00, with story-telling, acoustic music, Karaoke, and s’mores. We will have a food truck so that people can purchase food independently, cutting down our costs and maximizing the amount of funds for the children. This event is open to the whole community, and I very much appreciate anyone who can help with spreading the word.


If people want to donate to the Tanzanian Education Fund at any time, they can go to and choose the “Stewardship” tab, select “Give a Gift” and designate Refugee Ministries. In the comment section say “Tanzanian Education Fund.”


I am thankful to the Land Trust community for the wonderful work they do providing a wonderful, special outdoor place that keeps children and families grounded in community.

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